World Rabies Day: Rabies killed more people in India in the last 5 years than COVID-19

World Rabies Day
  • According to WHO estimates, 20,000 rabies deaths every year in India; accounts for 36% of Rabies caused deaths – the highest in the world
  • Webinar organized by Indian Immunologicals – Managing Animal Bites Better with eminent experts; promotes Rabies awareness pro Fearless Against Rabies campaign
  • Worldwide 28th September is observed as World Rabies Day to mark the death anniversary of French scientist Sir Louis Pasteur – the inventor of the Rabies vaccine

Mumbai, September 28, 2020: Rabies is an infectious viral disease that is fatal by the time its symptoms start appearing after an animal bite. The WHO estimates the death toll caused by Rabies in India at about 1 lac in the last 5 years with more than 1/3rd (36%) of the total deaths across the globe. Every year in the world, 90% of Rabies deaths occur in the children living in rural areas of Africa and Asia while coming into contact with infected dogs. The number of Rabies deaths are still much above than COVID-19 related deaths reported so far (95,500 as on Sep 28). Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), a leading biologicals company, organized a virtual session to address the issue with eminent heath experts on the occasion of World Rabies Day.

The situation is deep-rooted in India due to the lack of awareness of preventive measures, uncontrolled canine population, insufficient dog vaccination, poor knowledge of proper post-exposure prophylaxis. The webinar on the topic of ‘Managing Animal Bites Better – Lets Collaborate, Educate and Vaccinated’ discussed on these issues. The panellist included Padamashree Dr. Oomesh Kr. Bharti, Epidemiologist, State Inst. of Health & Family Welfare (Shimla), Dr. M K Sudarshan, Founder President of APCRI, Dr. DH Ashwath Narayana, Superintendent of KIMS (Bengaluru), Dr. Sumit Poddar, Antirabies Consultant (Kolkata), and Dr. Shrikrishna Isloor, Asso. Prof., Animal & Fisheries Sciences University (Bengaluru).

IIL’s Fearless Against Rabies campaign

IIL believes that awareness plays the vital role in rabies prevention. The initiative “Fearless against Rabies”, is a digital campaign intended to create awareness on varied aspects related to Rabies for public at large and also for medical professionals through multiple mediums. This platform encourages organizations & schools to come forward and collaborate in organizing awareness sessions on Rabies. Through this initiative, IIL also aim to create awareness about pre-exposure prophylaxis among pet owners, children, walkers, runners, veterinarians, animal control & wildlife officers and all other high risk groups. For further details on this and join hands in our effort, please visit

While speaking on the handing Rabies, Dr. K. Anand Kumar, Managing Director, Indian Immunologicals Limited said, “IIL is truly a One Health company, playing a significant role in eradicating and providing cost-effective tools for the control of various zoonotic diseases in the country including the dreaded Rabies. As we move ahead there is an acute need of increasing the awareness level among the population at large. On World Rabies Day, several organizations come forward to intensify actions for the awareness of Rabies. IIL’s initiative of ‘Fearless Against Rabies’ is well set to reach out to a larger population on the awareness of preventive measures for rabies.”

“Indian Immunologicals has been a pioneer in making anti-rabies vaccine accessible for both humans and animals. IIL is one of the world’s largest producers of rabies vaccines and consistent supply of “Abhayrab” anti-rabies vaccine has helped reduce the burden of this deadly disease. This has been possible due to our committed people, wide and robust distribution network, and highly efficient manufacturing and quality systems ,” added Dr. Prasanna Deshpande, Deputy Managing Director, Indian Immunologicals Limited.

Indian Immunologicals Limited (a subsidiary company of the National Dairy Development Board) is a leading biologicals player and the world’s largest manufacturer of animal rabies vaccine (Raksharab) and human rabies vaccine (Abhayrab) in the country with 30 Million combined vaccines doses every year from its facilities in India. Recently, the IIL launched eco-friendly packaging of its Rabies vaccines reducing the plastic burden by 160 tonnes per annum.

About Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL)

Indian Immunologicals Limited headquartered in Hyderabad, India is the market leader in veterinary biologicals and third largest animal health and human health player in India. IIL was setup by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 1982 and pursues its mission of “Biotechnology in healthcare made affordable and accessible” in both the animal and human health segments and in the process creates a vibrant biotechnology base for the country. IIL is one of the largest producers of Foot and Mouth disease vaccine in the world and was the first company in India to launch the purified Vero cell rabies vaccine for humans (PVRV) and second globally. IIL has a strong R&D and has launched several animal and human vaccines in the Indian market at affordable prices. R&D at IIL, specializes in development of varied types of vaccines ranging from inactivated and live viral vaccines, polysaccharide conjugate vaccines, recombinant subunit vaccines, toxoid vaccines, bacterial vaccines and molecular vaccines. More details about the company can be viewed on

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